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Sanders and Biden Debate One on One

The Story: After months of debates that have taken place on some very crowded stages, the Democratic field for the nomination for President of the...

Trump, Media Assaults on Omar a New Low for American Politics

By Stacy M. Brown, NNPA Newswire Correspondent, @StacyBrownMedia American politics appears to have hit a new low. According to reports, Congresswoman Ilhan Omar has beefed up security following the vicious attacks she’s received and even news reports that paint her as un-American. “It is trafficking in Islamophobia, and should be condemned by everyone,” Booker said. Some media favorable to the president have also attacked Omar and despite death threats made against her, Trump has continued his assault by calling her –without any supporting evidence and against her denials – “anti-Semitic,” and “anti-Israel.” Booker noted that Trump has also attacked other African American women leaders like California Rep. Maxine Waters. That Trump claims he’s not racist isn’t satisfactory, Booker said. “It’s not enough to say, I’m not a racist. Matthew Haviland, 30, of North Kingstown was charged after sending approximately 28 threatening emails on March 10 to a college professor, whose name and affiliation was withheld by federal officials. The professor, who had been friends with Haviland for about 11 years, believed Haviland’s views changed because “of the way the news media portrays” President Donald Trump, Laft wrote. Authorities said Omar was among the Democrats whom Haviland threatened to kill. “We, as a people, cannot allow our Black leaders to be attacked for their advocacy.

The Chief review: John Roberts and the decline of American democracy

If We Can Keep It review: how Trump happened and how America might survive Read more The pages of Joan Biskupic’s new, carefully reported biography of the chief justice are replete with evidence to support that conclusion – which Biskupic is much too polite to reach. Biskupic is a former Washington Post supreme court correspondent who is now a legal analyst for CNN. The author has known Roberts for more than 20 years and he granted her 20 hours of interviews. She has rewarded that courtesy with plenty of anodyne observations. In 1980, Roberts “was captivated by Ronald Reagan’s presidential campaign”. As part of his youthful opposition to the renewal of key portions of the Voting Rights Act of 1965, Roberts pretended there was “no evidence of voting abuses nationwide”. That decision came three years after Roberts lobbed his single largest grenade at the heart of American democracy, when he joined the other conservative justices to give corporations the right to spend as much money as they chose to elect the public officials who would be most enthusiastic about promoting unfettered capitalism. This single act of sanity has sparked some hope that Roberts might replace Anthony Kennedy as the most reliable swing vote. But except in 2015, when he backed the ACA again, he has remained reliably rightwing. Her final sentences are just as unsatisfying: “The chief justice is leading a court increasingly in his own image.

Angela Lang: Working for Community Engagement in Politics

“Milwaukee inspires me and breaks my heart every day,” says Angela Lang, the executive director of Black Leaders Organizing for Communities (BLOC). “It is such a beautifully complex city and it’s full of potential.” Interacting with people in her community almost every day, Lang sees immense hardships but also uplifting resilience. She is the kind of person who witnesses struggles in her neighborhood and feels moved to take action. In her eyes, there is a path for change and a way to achieve a better future. “All we have to do is tap in and engage folks in a really meaningful way,” she says. By organizing her community and encouraging participation in the political process, she gives others the power to fight for their rights. Lang grew up on 32nd and Wisconsin, well aware of the dichotomy of the neighborhood’s low-income housing in the shadow of Marquette High School, a school most of her friends would never be able to afford. She also watched as her single mother struggled with breast cancer while working multiple jobs. Fast forward to 2017, when Lang and five elected officials (Sen. LaTonya Johnson, Rep. David Bowen, Ald. After hearing the concerns of everyday people and taking time to understand their hardships, BLOC began training canvassers (or ambassadors, as BLOC calls them) to educate citizens about the political system.

The time for political pablum is over

Positioning themselves above it all, as ready and eager to work and compromise with the party of Donald Trump, can't help but make them sound weak and defensive. [They] like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. Obama was right about one thing: There aren't really blue and red states. Why is Joe Biden promising to say nice words about Republicans, and even campaigning for them? Why is Amy Klobuchar insisting that she and tens of millions of Trump voters are united in their “shared belief in our dreams for America”? Part of the explanation is surely rooted in the good, old-fashioned American suspicion of partisanship that goes all the way back to George Washington, and perhaps before him. Which is what ends up happening wherever democratic elections are a regular feature of political life. But of course such magnanimity only became possible because the North had all but prevailed in the fight by the time Lincoln delivered his speech. That's democratic politics 101. That makes bipartisan boilerplate sound silly — and places the politicians who utter such bromides right smack in the middle of the very nearly empty space between the two parties.

The time for political pablum is over

Positioning themselves above it all, as ready and eager to work and compromise with the party of Donald Trump, can't help but make them sound weak and defensive. [They] like to slice-and-dice our country into Red States and Blue States; Red States for Republicans, Blue States for Democrats. Obama was right about one thing: There aren't really blue and red states. Why is Joe Biden promising to say nice words about Republicans, and even campaigning for them? Why is Amy Klobuchar insisting that she and tens of millions of Trump voters are united in their “shared belief in our dreams for America”? Part of the explanation is surely rooted in the good, old-fashioned American suspicion of partisanship that goes all the way back to George Washington, and perhaps before him. Which is what ends up happening wherever democratic elections are a regular feature of political life. But of course such magnanimity only became possible because the North had all but prevailed in the fight by the time Lincoln delivered his speech. That's democratic politics 101. That makes bipartisan boilerplate sound silly — and places the politicians who utter such bromides right smack in the middle of the very nearly empty space between the two parties.

To Rebut Cohen, Republican Invites Black Appointee as Proof Trump’s No Racist

Anticipating Mr. Cohen’s accusation that President Trump was a racist, Representative Mark Meadows, Republican of North Carolina, invited Ms. Patton to appear as a rebuttal to the charge. “I’m saying that in itself it is a racist act.” Mr. Meadows fired back, noting that his own “nieces and nephews are people of color.” Appealing to Representative Elijah E. Cummings, the chairman of the committee, Mr. Meadows insisted that “to even go down this direction is wrong.” Mr. Cummings, a Maryland Democrat who is African-American, defended Mr. Meadows, calling him “one of my best friends.” Ms. Tlaib then said she did not intend to call him racist. “I do apologize if that’s what it sounded like,” she said. “I said someone in general. Ms. Patton, who spoke at the Republican National Convention in 2016, has only risen in prominence in the Trump orbit after a tell-all book by Omarosa Manigault Newman, another prominent African-American official who spent years defending Mr. Trump. In a memoir she published after being fired from the White House in December 2017, Ms. Manigault Newman also accused Mr. Trump of being racist. And in recordings she released while promoting the book, Ms. Manigault Newman put out a taped discussion she had with Ms. Patton about whether Mr. Trump had ever used the N-word. Since then, Ms. Patton, who is now HUD’s New York regional director and has recently drawn attention for spending a month in the city’s public housing, has been eager to demonstrate her loyalty to the Trump family. But Ms. Manigault Newman, who was watching Mr. Cohen’s testimony from home, said in an interview that her former colleague was simply being used. “Bringing Lynne in to this particular hearing was just for show,” she said.

Alameda Racism, Charter School Politics, or Something Else?

At its last meeting on Dec. 13, the board changed its bylaws in order to elect new Alameda school member Mia Bonta as board president, bypassing African-American board member Ardella Dailey for the position even though, as vice president, Dailey was next in line for the post. Since fall 2015, the presidency of the school board had rotated in a succession from board clerk, vice president, to president. A dozen supporters of Dailey — who, in 2016, became the first African-American woman elected to the Alameda school board — strongly criticized the bylaw change and accused school board members Gray Harris, then board president, and Gary Lym, former president, of being hypocritical and motivated by power and race. Smith worked with Dailey and others to challenge racism in the school district in the 1990s. Other Dailey supporters included former AUSD administrator Carole Robie, who questioned the timing and the rationale for the rule change, noting that both Lym and Harris had benefited from the rotation policy: Harris was president in 2018 and Lym was president the year before. With the new policy in place, Harris then moved to nominate Bonta as board president. While it seems clear that board members Harris and Lym spoke prior to the meeting, if they had also communicated with Bonta, it would not have violated the state’s open government law’s ban on a majority of board members meeting in secret because Bonta was not yet a board member. Harris then turned to nominate Lym, who declined. The board approved Harris as VP and Lym as clerk, 3-2, with Dailey and Williams opposed. The new board majority of Bonta, Harris, and Lym have strong support from unions.

Biden Sees Himself as Democrats’ Best Hope in 2020, Allies Say

Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is under pressure from Democratic donors and others to make up his mind about a 2020 presidential run by the end of January. Rick Bowmer/Associated Press WASHINGTON — Former Vice President Joseph R. Biden Jr. is in the final stages of deciding whether to run for president and has told allies he is skeptical the other Democrats eyeing the White House can defeat President Trump, an assessment that foreshadows a clash between the veteran Washington insider and the more liberal and fresh-faced contenders for the party’s 2020 nomination. Nominating a white man may also roil some Democrats who are already torn about whether a woman could win in 2020 after Hillary Clinton’s loss. The 76-year-old former vice president, who leads the field in initial national and Iowa polls, has not yet told his allies that he has decided to run. The former vice president told a senior Democratic official last week that he is both likely to run and that his aides have told him he must move quickly in this primary, according to two Democrats briefed on the conversation. Senator Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts entered the Democratic primary race last week, and several other women are considering a 2020 run as well. Mr. Smith, a state legislator and friend of Mr. Biden, said the former vice president could count on an enthusiastic reception in South Carolina if he were to run. Yet the preferences of the party’s donor class and an ability to work in a bipartisan fashion are hardly alluring to the party’s increasingly liberal grass-roots activists and voters. Should he run, Mr. Biden would quite likely face multiple major black candidates and no fewer than three prominent women. After the Democratic base elevated diversity to a first priority in the midterm elections, Mr. Biden would have little to offer voters determined to change the face of the presidency.

Progressives need to get identity politics right

Progressives have some intellectual and moral work to do. What are cast as political challenges to liberals and the left are also philosophical problems. All politics is about identity in some way, since all of us think of ourselves as, well, something. To use an example I am especially familiar with: I’m a reasonably well-off white male liberal who grew up in a middle-class family in a working-class city in Massachusetts where Catholicism and trade unions were important parts of life. This limited tour of my political psyche is the sort of exercise all of us can engage in. This alone makes the war on identity a non-starter among progressives and Democrats. On the left, the word “intersectionality” has gained popularity as it deals with the cross-cutting effects of race, gender and class, and there is no doubt that progressive politics will, of necessity, be intersectional. But beyond buzz words, progressives must find a politics that links worker rights with civil rights, racial and gender justice with social justice more broadly. In his book “Modernity and Its Discontents,” Yale political scientist Steven B. Smith offered this in an essay on the philosopher Isaiah Berlin: “Identities are not just things we have, they define who we are. If I am only for myself, what am I?” Hillel was not a political consultant, but his balanced approach remains sound, electorally as well as morally.